Epicurus: Wealth of Vain Ideals

Posted by admin on Friday, March 3, 2017

Epicurus Money Quote saying wealth we need to live well is simple to get, but keeping up with the Joneses, especially the rich Joneses, will never be enough. Epicurus said:
 
The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity Quote
 

“The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity” — Epicurus

 

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In this quote, the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus seems to be contrasting what is truly necessary for a decent life versus excessive desires that can never be fully satisfied. The “wealth required by nature” likely refers to having sufficient resources to cover basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, etc. – things that once obtained allow one to be content.

However, Epicurus notes that wealth pursued to attain “vain ideals” or lofty social standards of success is unbounded, as people will always want more regardless of how much they accumulate.

The best interpretation is that Epicurus believed true happiness comes from living modestly according to one’s basic needs rather than chasing ever-greater status, luxury and extravagance that do not substantially improve one’s life. Moderation in wealth acquisition was viewed as wiser than endless pursuit of riches and expensive pleasures.

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